The US Navy is investing in unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) for near-term deployment and looking into what their future capabilities could encompass. One recently tested solution is dedicated to keeping naval and commercial vessels safe and secure by detecting and disabling mines, and future solutions are set to engage enemy vessels with onboard weapons.
The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) is a megawatt electric power system under development by General Atomics to replace the steam-driven catapults installed on US Navy aircraft carriers. A new contract will see EMALS launch jet fighters from the navy’s latest Gerald R. Ford class carriers using technology similar to that which enables railguns to fire projectiles at several times the speed of sound.
The threat of piracy against merchant shipping is growing, and while navies are bolstering their patrols in high-risk areas, they can’t be everywhere, so shipping companies are taking the problem into their own hands. Thales has set out to support them with its Pastor turnkey solution, combining mission-adapted systems and an onboard security team to improve crew and cargo safety, and even reduce insurance premiums.
Doing more with fewer crew members has become the mantra of today’s budget-squeezed navies, and the latest ships are making this possible with unprecedentedly automated and integrated systems. The latest bridge, mission, navigation and remote weapons systems have made ship control a one-stop-shop for the first time since captains barked out orders from the quarterdeck.
Northrop Grumman is developing the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the US Navy to provide long-endurance maritime surveillance. The biggest UAS ever operated by the navy, Triton will fly missions of up to 24 hours scouting out large areas of the ocean, working hand-in-hand with the manned Boeing P-8 Poseidon which can fly in for a closer look at targets of interest.
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The Royal Navy recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Submarine Service, whose motto is “We Come Unseen”. It started off with a scurrilous reputation but soon covered itself in glory, changing the course of sea battles from the First World War onwards. From HMS E9 to Astute, we look at the most important submarines to have served, and some of their most glorious – and occasionally inglorious – moments.
The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) has unveiled new technology which will enable any unmanned surface vehicle (USV) to autonomously act with others as a swarm to attack hostile vessels. The system, known as Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing, consists of sensors and software to enable control and coordination of the vessels.
In this edition of Latest In Defence, BAE Systems releases timelapse footage of the first Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier being floated out into open water, the US Marines have tamed a fearsome four-legged robot to help carry kit, and DARPA demonstrates a bullet that always hits its target.
Despite Paris’ condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, a €1.2bn deal to sell two Mistral warships is still going ahead; a move that has provoked criticism by NATO and EU member states. Could the threat of losing out on this highly capable vessel really influence Putin’s foreign policy, and would there be any way for France to mitigate the disastrous financial fallout?
The BAE Systems Sampson multi-function radar fitted to the Royal Navy’s fleet of Type 45 destroyers forms part of the Sea Viper naval air defence system, but it could also play a role in ballistic missile defence. Amid warnings of a growing threat of ballistic missile attacks against British targets, a recent series of tests were conducted to determine whether it fits the bill.